Mr. JORDAN of Ohio. I thank the chairman, thank our ranking member and the chairman of the subcommittee.
The chairman of the subcommittee was just boasting about the fact that the committee reduced the amount of dollars appropriated in this bill from what the administration had requested.
I think it's important to point out that request came after we have had the stimulus, the omnibus, the second tranche of TARP. I mean, all the spending that's taken place in the first 6 months of this Congress. I don't know that there's anything to really brag about.
So this amendment actually goes back to what this Congress was allocated and what was being spent in the various agencies that fall under the bill, just 1 year ago. It would reduce the spending in this bill by $12.511 billion, again, exactly what we were spending prior to the stimulus, prior to the omnibus.
I think it's really all about preserving opportunity and the greatness of this country for our children and our grandchildren.
And, Mr. Chairman, I would say this: the American people get it. They're tightening their belts, as many speakers have already indicated here on the floor this evening. They're tired of this blank check, this bailout mentality that has got a hold of Washington. They're sick of the bailouts. They're sick of the deficits. They're sick of the debt that we keep piling up.
Think about the number of different bailouts: we had the financial industry. We had the auto industry bailout. We have a deficit that's approaching $2 trillion this fiscal year. We have a national debt over $11 trillion slated to move to $23 trillion over the next decade.
I always think it's important just to figure this out. At some point, I was an economics major. One of the first things you learn in economics is there's no free lunch; it has to be paid back. $23 trillion we're slated to get to over the next 10 years.
To pay that back, think about what has to happen. We first have to balance the budget. We first have to get to zero, actually balance a budget, not spend more than we take in. And then we have to run a surplus of $1 trillion for 23 straight years, and that doesn't even count the interest. That's what we're saddling our kids and our grandkids with.
One of the things that makes this country great, one of the reasons we're the greatest Nation in history, is because parents make sacrifices for their kids so that when they grow up they can have life a little better than we did. And then they, in turn, when they become parents, do the same thing for the next generation. And that cycles continues, and that's why we're the greatest Nation, economic power in human history.
When you begin to turn that around and go the other direction, that's where we're having problems. And, frankly, that's where we're at right now. And that's why it is so important we get a little discipline in how we budget and spend the taxpayer money.
I had a coach and teacher in high school. He taught chemistry. Toughest teacher in the school. Taught chemistry and physics. Toughest coach in the State, I felt like. And talked about discipline every stinking day. I got tired of hearing about it. He said, you've got to have discipline if you want to get anything done. You've got to have discipline if you want to succeed in athletics. And he had a great definition. He said, discipline's doing what you don't want to do when you don't want to do
it. And basically that meant doing it his way when you'd rather do it your way. It meant doing things the right way. It meant doing things the tough way when you'd rather do it the easy way, the convenient way.
The easy thing to do is to spend taxpayer money. The disciplined thing, the tough thing to do is say, You know what? We're going to limit overall spending, and we're going to have some priorities and make some tough decisions because, if we don't, our kids and our grandkids are going to inherit a debt that they cannot repay. And that's where we are today in America. That's why it's important we adopt this amendment and begin to get a handle on the out-of-control spending.
I reserve the balance of my time.
Mr. MOLLOHAN. Mr. Chairman, I'd just point out that this is a 19.4 percent reduction in the funding of the bill. And that equates, by my math, to $12.5 billion below this bill's recommendation. This committee's recommendation to the full House would be $5 billion below the 2009 funding level.
Understand that, just right off the top, this subcommittee has a $4 billion additional obligation to fund the census as we move into 2010. That immediately and graphically demonstrates the effect this kind of a cut would have on the bill.
For all the reasons that I have particularized in debating other percentage cuts to the funding in this bill, I oppose this amendment, Mr. Chairman.
I reserve the balance of my time.
Mr. JORDAN of Ohio. Mr. Chairman, just let me say this: the gentleman makes it sound so dramatic. It takes us right back to what we were spending 1 year, less than a year ago, less than a year ago to what these Departments were operating, the programs were operating on.
I mean, think about this. A year ago Tiger Woods was getting ready to win the U.S. Open, just like he is this week.
Brett Favre was thinking about coming out of retirement, just like he is this week. One year ago.
One year ago Yankees fans and Red Sox fans didn't like each other, just like today. I mean, this is not a big deal. This is going back to where we were less than 1 year ago.
A lot of families out there, a lot of families across this country are having to do that. A lot of businesses are having to do that.
Why is it during tough economic times the only people who have to suck it up are the American people and small business owners?
Why can't government ever have to suck it up?
That's what this is about. This goes back to where we were less than 1 year ago.
I yield back the balance of my time and urge a ``yes'' vote on the amendment.
Mr. MOLLOHAN. Mr. Chairman, it's just a small point, but I don't know what numbers the gentleman is looking at from 1 year ago, and it doesn't affect his overall point, which I totally [Page: H6953]
understand. He wants to reduce the bill by a significant amount of money.
But 1 year ago the accounts funded in this bill totaled $57.651 billion. As I understand the gentleman's cut, and as we have done the math on it, his cut would take us down to $52 billion, which would be $4 billion or $5 billion below.
Mr. JORDAN of Ohio. I appreciate the gentleman yielding. That's kind of you.
A year ago, in my recollection, we were functioning under a continuing resolution, which would be the 2008 fiscal year spending level. That's why I'm saying 1 year ago we were functioning under exactly what this amendment would take us to, not the 2009, which was done in the omnibus just a few months ago. We were functioning on the 2008 continuing resolution.